Friday, December 13, 2013

The masterpiece and how I did it

I don't know how, but this post from 12/2013 was reverted to draft. I don't think it will go back to where it is supposed to be when I publish it. So, if it jumps the line, you'll know why an old post turned up.

The masterpiece and how I did it

That's what my neighbor, who doesn't really like painted furniture so much, called it. Well, I don't know about that,  but I think I worked on it as long as Da Vinci did the Last Supper.

A couple years ago I did a copper patina on a light fixture - a little light fixture. This time it felt like I was trying to cover an acre of wood.

It was really easy!    cough cough  snort

Here's the desk as it arrived.

At this point I started wondering if I bit off too much.

See the crackling? It was everywhere. It's a good thing I enjoy removing veneer. It's such a Zen activity. I just zone out and scrape scrape scrape heat gun scrape scrape scrape hmmm maybe soup for dinner scrape scrape scrape.

After a lifetime of veneer removal I started the painting process.  I used two shades of copper and two shades of turquoise, as well as a sage green glaze and a black wash.

This is the first step. I used a brush, fingers, rags and a sponge to get a mottled first coat. While that was still damp I went over the entire area with the glaze.That smeared the colors together. Finally I added a very watery black wash to age the surface.

Now, let me warn you, you are about see a most unsightly mess. Horrible. I'm going to hypnotize you so you forget you ever saw it.

(Ewwww, how can anyone work in these conditions?)

Here all the "copper" pieces are glazed and drying. 
I had to take over part of the living room because I had two projects taking up my little work room. The front door was totally blocked so if anyone knocked i had to wave my arms and point to the garage.

Before the black wash.

After the black wash.

I purchased these fun glass knobs for the desk. They are over-sized and really cute.  However, after I put all six on, it was a bit much; the knobs drew too much attention. When I walked around a corner in the house and saw the desk, all I could look at were the knobs. Not only are they huge but they also stick out a couple inches. You would have had to see it to understand how wrong that looked.

I replaced them with more appropriate knobs.

I added an escutcheon and skeleton key from my stash.

I painted the writing area a mottled tan with a copper border. In my haste to take pictures I left masking tape hanging off the mail dividers. Nice. Good one, Daena. While I'm on the subject of masking tape, I used the new Frog Tape for sensitive surfaces. It's formulated to not be as sticky as regular tape. It worked 50% of the time for me so I wasn't real impressed.

The trim and part of the legs are American Accents Espresso.

Finished!! Yay! 
Now I can sit back and enjoy the fruit of my labors.

Sharing at

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree

the 2013 twig tree
The DIY from last year is below.

With lights.The flat screen TV turned out to be the perfect background to get a good shot. Who knew?

Snowbound! I've been snowed in for days.

twig Christmas tree at night

Last year I shared my little DIY Christmas tree. It got a huge response so I thought I would re-post the original for those who missed it.  So, here it is again, my LED twig tree. It's such a fun tree for the office or home with no room.

 How to Make an Odd Little Tree

I know just about everyone who is going to have a Christmas tree already has it by now. But maybe you want a little tree for the office? And you're in the mood to make your own? I wasn't in the mood to make a tree until a co-worker showed me the Olive and Cocoa catalog. We visited the website and saw this:

For me it was love at first sight. This tree is adorable in its rustic goodness! BUT. But with shipping it comes in at $102. I knew the craft store had these LED branches so I thought I'd save some money and make my own tree. 

I had no idea what I was doing but hoped for the best. I bought 2 different types of LED branches, some floral tape and a few little ornaments. Then I went home to try and bend my newly purchased Willow branches into a fir tree. Good grief. I had no idea I was so floral tape challenged. Talk about fighting the good fight. sheesh. I didn't think I'd ever get those stems wrapped. Seriously. But I did and here's how my tree turned out.

Not exactly like the original but you can tell it's a tree! For the longest time it looked like The Nightmare Before Christmas. I was bending twigs and wrapping tape and getting it all tangled and having it break, then it would unwrap at the bottom and so on. Then I ran out of twig. I had my second box of branches but they were battery operated not plug-in like the ones I had just taped. Oh well, how bad could it be? I taped the battery stem to the electric one and continued bending and wrapping and bending and wrapping. Repeat.
Other than having to turn on the bottom and top separately, it worked fine.

The tree unlit. It needs a few more ornaments. I would love to find some minis made of mercury glass. Oh wait! I can faux paint any old mini ornament. Duh!

And at night. 

It's sweet in a rustic way.

This is what I used but the results would be far better if you had two of the same kind of branches. I used what I had but it certainly wasn't ideal. My little tree cost $30 compared to $102. I could have shopped around and found a better price on the branches but I think over all I did pretty good.

Have fun!